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Courtesy of Netflix Gaten Matarazzo
"I think the tone is definitely matured for sure, and I think they do that on purpose because I think they want their show to mature with their kids," star Gaten Matarazzo, 18, told Entertainment Tonight. "As we are growing older as people, we have to grow older as characters. [Creators Matt and Ross Duffer are] confronted by this issue, but they embrace it and they use it to their advantage. And they don't freak out when we get taller or when our voices drop or anything like that."
He added, "They use it as ammunition for their writing. It's incredible what they can do. Working with them, it's just exceptional. Always has been."
Matarazzo has starred as Dustin Henderson on Stranger Things since the show's first season, which debuted in 2016. The series follows the mysterious disappearance of a boy (Noah Schnapp) in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s. The missing child's mother (Winona Ryder), friends, and the local police chief (David Harbour) band together to find him and are confronted by supernatural forces along the way.
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Matarazzo told ET that production on season 4 has occurred over "little increments here and there" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that "a lot of measures" are being taken to shoot safely.
"I think what the goal for the boys, for Matt and Ross [Duffer], to do is to make sure that the bar is raised every single season, but it's raised not too much to a point at which we couldn't be able to exceed or match what we've done prior," he said. "They're ambitious. They are hungry guys. They know what their show is, they know what people like about it. They know what they want and they're going to get it too. That's what a day working with them is like. It really is incredible."
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The Duffer brothers have previously said the Netflix series will likely go beyond season 4, and Matarazzo would happily return for more.
"If they want a season 5, I'll do a season 5 for sure," he said. "I love this show, I love the people. … I don't know if they know exactly when they want to end it. I think they know how they want to end it. I think they know where they want their characters to be. I think the question is they're just going to figure it out, they're going to play it by ear and figure out what's going to go down while they write."
Last December, Harbour, 45, told PEOPLE the upcoming season has been his "favorite" for his character, Jim Hopper.
"One of the great things that you can see with Hopper is that he was a protector, he's a man of justice [and] he now has become a prisoner," he said at the time. "He's trapped and he's isolated. And we get to see an entirely other color of him that has been hinted at."
The Hellboy star added, "This season is my favorite because he really is going to show you some new colors and what he's really made up of."
A premiere date for season 4 of Stranger Things has not yet been announced.